By Emmanuel Elebeke
The British High Commissioner, Paul Arkwright, says one of UK’s key objective for Nigeria this year is to support the ongoing campaign against Cybercrime to reduce the number of UK citizens and businesses falling victim to fraud and cyber crime originating in Nigeria.
Arkwright disclosed this on Wednesday, at the ongoing Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) and Ministry of Communications two day workshop on cybercrime holding in Abuja.
As a leading ICT nation, he stated that the UK launched the Cyber security capacity building programme which supports transformational projects around the world that has an effect on reducing cyber threats, which he said had had many noteworthy achievements.
‘‘The UK government recognized that this could only happen if there are adequate legal and institutional structures in place to help respond to the challenges being posed by cyber criminals.
‘‘This too must meet international standards such as outlined in the Budapest Convention on Cyber security to drive cross country cooperation which is necessary to address cybercrime.’’
In addition to its drive, he noted that the UK government also supported the relevant agencies in Nigeria to see the passage of the Cybercrime Act 2015 between 2013 and 2014.
He applaud the Nigerian government for the passage of the Cybercrime Act 2015, he called for effective response to cybercrime through robust network security including appropriate network architecture and software; cybersecurity awareness; co-operative arrangements between law enforcement and communication service providers and a criminal justice system that facilitates the efficient prosecution of cases of cybercrime.
‘‘While tackling Cybercrime remains an enormous challenge that requires the engagement of a range of stakeholders, we can build coalitions and take steps that can reduce the scope and scale of cybercrime,’’ he added.
In his remarks, the Secretary General of Common Wealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO), Engr. Shola Taylor said Nigeria remains a major force to be reckoned with in terms of cybersecurity plans with unique opportunities to drive the campaign against cybercrime.
He promised to collaborate with Nigerian government and all relevant agencies to tackle the menace of cybercrime in the country.
In his speech, the Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, said the new post-modern realities of ICT and cyberspace have extended the frontiers of living space from physical space into cyberspace.
According to him, the workshop was designed to find all the means to draw experience from global community, who have experienced it and utilized modern solutions and to identify various modes of committing crime in cyber space and evolve answers to them.
On the MTN fine, the Minister said that the MTN had tendered an apology and requested for leniency, which is now waiting for Presidential action.
‘‘When the crimes got committed, this government had not even come into place. The previous government looked the other way. Immediately the new NCC EVC came on board, he decided to apply the appropriate regulations.
‘‘It’s like you have a court judgement, once a pronouncement is made, unless it is reviewed, it remains a valid judgement. There is an appeal to the President but the President is yet to take a decision. So, Nigerians must await for the decision of the President on the matter.’’
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the Commission in conjunction with the ITU, will be establishing a cybercrime centre in Nigeria soon, saying that necessary regulation that will enable the execution was being fine-tuned, consistent with the enabling Act and other issues being considered.
Still on the MTN, fine he said, ‘‘It is still receiving attention. Deadline has expired but we have written to them to acknowledge the letter they wrote to the commission in which they admitted committing the bridge.
‘‘In the letter, there is a undertaken for good regulatory behavior and apology to the Nigerian people as well as solicitation for leniency on the fine, that is why it is receiving attention.’’